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Mettlach

 

Mettlach (Moselle Franconian Mettlich) is a municipality in the Saarland district of Merzig-Wadern in Germany.

 

History

A settlement developed from an abbey in the 7th century
Around 676, the Franconian Duke Lutwinus, who later became Bishop of Trier, founded an abbey on the site of today's Mettlach district. Around 990 Abbot Lioffin built a St. Mary's Church as the founder's grave church. This octagonal church (based on the model of Aachen Cathedral) is known today as the Old Tower and is the oldest building in Saarland.

The current abbey buildings date from the 18th century and were taken over by Jean-François Boch in 1801 in the course of secularization. They still house the headquarters of Villeroy & Boch today. On August 13, 1921, the buildings were badly damaged by a major fire (see also images in the gallery below).

The first bridge connecting Mettlach with Keuchingen was completed in December 1886. It was financed by Villeroy & Boch and was initially subject to a toll. When the bridge was no longer able to cope with the increased volume of traffic in the 1930s, it was replaced by a new building. This bridge, inaugurated on November 15, 1936, was destroyed in the Second World War. It was not until December 24, 1951 that the new Saar Bridge Mettlach, this time designed as a suspension bridge, was opened to traffic by Prime Minister Johannes Hoffmann.

On October 1, 1936, Mettlach and Keuchingen, which had been separate since July 1, 1778, were reunified. On January 1, 1974, in the course of the administrative and territorial reform of the Saarland, the ten independent municipalities of Bethingen, Dreisbach, Faha, Mettlach, Nohn, Orscholz, Saarhölzbach, Tünsdorf, Wehingen and Weiten were formed into the new municipality of Mettlach.

In October 1944 the 416th Infantry Division had its command post in Keuchingen.

With the revival of the Lutwinus pilgrimage (every year in the week before Pentecost), Mettlach has been a place of pilgrimage again since 2003.

Name
There are various explanations for the origin of the name. According to prevailing opinion, it goes back to the Romano-Celtic * Metallacum, which in turn is derived from the Roman personal name Metilius. In part, this is a learned reinterpretation of the Latin Medius Lacus (literally: intermediate lake), which used to be the common interpretation. In Latin texts one finds the name Abattia Mediolacensis for the abbey founded in 676.